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Touch » Member Reviews, page 2

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TOUCH

Black and White

By McQueenSerialFantasy, author of Exiles

Jul 20, 2018: What can I say?

Touch is a good read but also a puzzling one, combining themes and narratives that aren’t ordinarily seen side-by-side. The result is a complex experience, which is both good and bad.

The story is well composed and the writing is solid, a huge plus point because the story itself is incredibly dense, particularly at an emotional level, and craftsmanship errors would have resulted in a big problem. The density of the story is made palatable by the fact that the author delivered the narrative with well-honed skill. There are places where the phrase "less is more" could be applied, but the story and the characters never fail to come across clearly.

As far as the story is concerned, I am conflicted. Touch covers the VERY dark themes of child sexual abuse and emotional trauma (I will echo other reviewers here and say that it deals with these topics in a way that is respectful and responsible) but sets them alongside the ordinarily adventurous and playful themes of child-superhero narratives. I read superhero stories for fun, and the dark backdrop of Touch was more than a little jarring. However, if you take the subject matter at face value, Touch offers a thoughtful (and necessarily painful) exploration of "what might happen" were those two worlds to collide.

If you’re aiming for a deep, intellectual read that’s off the beaten path of fiction, have a look. Touch will give you everything you’re looking for and more. It’s probably also worth mentioning that someone looking for a (slightly) lighter treatment of the underlying dark subject matter would probably find Touch useful as a more approachable way to find insight without diving fully into the horrors of criminal psychology.

All in all, a well-written pairing of odd opposites: Light but heavy; dark, but bright.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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TOUCH

The Good Touch

By Mariner, member

Oct 19, 2017: First things first, Touch is not a story for everyone. It handles its subjects tactfully, but even so, this is a story which is fundamentally about troubled children and painful emotion. I don’t see that going away.

I’ll be honest and state straight out that this isn’t my kind of story. It’s a bit of a slow trek, with prolonged descriptions of the minutia of emotions and motives of its characters. That’s not necessarily a bad or a good thing, but it is something to be aware of if you’re looking for a quicker story. It may pick up later, but heavy detail and a slow pace seems to be the writer’s style.

That said, what it does, it does well. The writing is very technically solid. The characters and dialogue are genuine, even in their awkwardness. Nothing is ‘prettied up’ for the sake of the reader. There was a brief conversation between a husband and wife which made me cringe, until I realized it was an honest representation of a real pair of cringe-worthy parents. Touch can definitely boast of very genuine and 3-dimensional characters, all of which are easy to empathize with.

It’s currently hard to judge the plot due to how early in the story things are, but the author lays a good framework for larger reveals later. There are enough glimpses of strangeness to make it obvious interesting things are going on in an otherwise seemingly normal world of car rides, schoolyards, and bedrooms.

STRENGTHS: Well written from a technical standpoint. The pacing is slow, but consistent, and it handles many perspective changes smoothly. From the first chapter, the plot seems to be leading towards interesting reveals, and the writer knows how to sprinkle questions and answers both to keep that rolling. If this is your genre, it’s quality writing and story-telling.

WEAKNESSES: Even taking the slow pace into account, scenes can linger for too long. Excessive detail is given in straight-forward explanation where hints or implications could carry more weight. Readers don’t necessarily need the specific mood of a character explained when they angrily slam a door. Sometimes just slamming it is enough.

CONCLUSION: Touch is an emotional drama with a hint of super-human powers and mystery. It’s very difficult to ascribe strengths and weaknesses to it because of how strongly preference factors into enjoyment. The story is slow, the descriptions long and detailed, the content fairly unsettling. But the characters have soul, and the mystery is definitely there. For some people, that may be exactly what they’re looking for. But for just as many people, maybe not.

If you’re looking for quick action or grand adventure, this isn’t the place. But if you’re looking for honest, emotionally driven drama with a healthy splash of intrigue and a promise of strange powers, give Touch a look.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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TOUCH

She’s got that invisible…

By Walter, author of The Fifth Defiance

Jan 26, 2018: [Disclaimers: First, I am doing this as part of a review swap. Second, Touch is still a young serial at this point, with only its first arc available for review. What you read may bear little resemblance to what I’m reviewing by the time you read this]

Touch takes place in a world like, but not exactly like, our own, where superpowered folks clash in a parallel world that most people aren’t aware of.

The Highs:

Touch’s author has a lot of confidence, and believes in the reader’s ability to piece together information from context. The narrative flow is not interrupted to do world building, rather they occur as components of one another.

The characters in the story are well formed and familiar enough to not need pages and pages of introduction, but distinct enough form their archetypes that they will still surprise you.

The story itself is a LOT less predictable than I thought it would be going in. I’ve read a lot of fiction, and I’d guess Touch’s author has too, consistently jinking my expectations.

The younger characters manage to be neither excessively twee nor the ‘adults in kid shaped containers’ that populate so many stories.

The Lows:

The author hasn’t mastered the trick of getting the motivations of the characters and the readers to align. A traumatized child desperately wants to get back to his ‘normal’ existence, which we have never seen and presumably didn’t come to read about. A busy character is eager to get teleporting across the world and being awesome over with so they can go back to their office, etc. It creates a tension where you don’t want them to succeed, but rooting against a POV character who is also an abused child is also not in the cards.

Our lack of knowledge about what the society knows is getting acute. We need to know what the baseline people know.

Overall:

It wouldn’t be responsible to give an overall with just this to work with. Thus far, the series is enjoyable and page turning, but it is also getting a lot of boost from swerving expectations and introducing twists. It will be very interesting to see how the author digs in with the second arc, as the dominoes they’ve set up begin to fall.

In place of an assessment let me say this. I’ll be reading on to find out what happens next.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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